Gabby Gaudet's betting tips and best bets for Friday's race card at Laurel Park:
Race 1, 1:10 p.m. post time
Selections: No. 9 Guns and Rosies, No. 5 Tricky Lion, No. 2 Not For Fun
Guns and Rosies met the right level last out to break his maiden. Donald Barr is 20 percent (7-35) with a $5.30 ROI with dirt horses breaking their maiden in their last start and coming back to repeat. Tricky Lion is a difficult one to support for win purposes with only 1 win from 24 starts, on three different surfaces. Not For Fun another that is a bit camera shy but gets decent pace to close into today.
Race 2, 1:40 p.m.
Selections: No. 7 My Sister Caro, No. 3 See What Happens, No. 6 Pret Say Eye
My Sister Caro faced a good group of allowance foes last out and still held well after not managing to make the lead. She looks like the fastest early here and that natural quickness should give her the tactical edge. See What Happens doesn’t have to be as far back as she has been lately. In fact, some of her better races are when she’s closer to the lead. Can she stalk inside for a piece today? Pret Say Eye experienced all sorts of trouble on the rail last out and she’ll probably be bet after that effort. She is, however, still winless since December of last year and will be a short price.
Race 3, 2:10 p.m.
Selections: No. 6 Supervisor, No. 7 Visual Effect. No. 3 Doubly Blue
Supervisor has posted an improved workout at Laurel since being acquired by the Potts barn. Liked that he showed speed in his second start – could be fastest early against this group. Visual Effect makes his first start for a trainer that is 20 percent (4-21, $2.30 ROI) with maiden claiming first time starters. Doubly Blue has a minimal work tab and debuts as a 6-year-old.
Race 4, 2:40 p.m.
Selections: No. 4 Mr. Magician, No. 6 Sweet Liam, No. 1. The Great Provider
Mr. Magician looks like he’s been a bit of a project, on or off turf and going different distances but I think he’s finally found a home against this level of competition, sprinting on the turf. Sweet Liam’s last race is excusable after experiencing trouble at the quarter pole. Look back to his effort in early July when finishing second to a horse who won a NY-bred stakes at Saratoga over the summer. The Great Provider is well spotted here to be on or near the lead.
Race 5, 3:10 p.m.
Selections: No. 2 Determined Nation, No. 4 Speedy Slew, No. 7 Barcraft
Determined Nation hasn’t done much running in his first two but hoping the surface change makes the difference. The barn has done well with this move before and this colt has some sneaky good pedigree, the dam being a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman. Speedy Slew did most of the dirty work, pressing the pace last out and paving the way for the closers. First timer Barcraft attracts top rider McCarthy and has a nice pedigree to handle this surface.
Race 6, 3:40 p.m.
Selections: No. 8 Spinelli, No. 2 Blackjack Buster, No. 9 Cape Lookout
Blackjack Buster is undoubtedly the horse to beat after a superb debut performance behind a wire-to-wire winner. No qualms with that race, just looking for an interesting alternative in Spinelli. I liked his workout at the OBS April sale – looked to have a nice, sprinter-like build. I also like that he was sold well beyond the stud fee price. Cape Lookout has the experience edge and unlike last out, draws a more favorable outside post.
Race 7, 4:10 p.m.
Selections: No. 6 Enigma, No. 8 That’s My Bai, No. 1 Nour Iayoun
Enigma looks like she has the potential to improve vastly after experiencing significant early and late trouble in last turf try at Monmouth. That’s My Bai has the most legitimate speed but may have to bat off a few sprinters that stretch out today. Look for a more controlled pace today than her last race. Nour Iayoun gets a big class relief today and was never going to catch the wire to wire winner last out.
Race 8, 4:40 p.m.
Selections: No. 8 Slick William, No. 2 Big Air, No. 6 Gotta Be Gold
Slick William had never previously showed as much early speed as he did in his last race. Maybe a positive sign moving forward or maybe an opportunity to improve upon, reverting back to his normal running style. I’d be surprised if he’s equally as fast early as Big Air who looks to be the speed of the speed. His back dirt races aren’t good enough but maybe he’s a different horse now. Gotta Be Gold wanted no part of the turf last out. At one point, faced some heavy hitters at the allowance level.
Race 9, 5:10 p.m.
Selections: No. 12 Star Black, No. 3 Stormy Mama, No. 8 Chloe’s White Sox
Can we get three in a row for the Star Black? She continues to show up, making her usual wide, swooping turn and closing from off the pace. Look for her to do it again with a similar setup. Stormy Mama is the long shot play in here. She hit the board against similar in June at Pimlico, and since then had trouble out of the gate in her only other turf try. If Chloe’s White Sox runs the same number she did last out, she’s the winner. But although an encouraging effort in her turf debut, the waters are a bit deeper here.
Best bet: Race 2, No. 7 My Sister Caro
Price play: Race 9, No. 3 Stormy Mama